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"Eternal Life" (পরমাযু) is considered one of the best one hundred short stories written in bangla language. The story is about an author who has been forgotten by the readers, but yearns to continue to live as a writer. The story is also about the readers who wants to gain eternal life by being included in an author's writings. The story is written in simple, narrative style, and is sprinkled with insightful phrases like "portrait of a successful middle-aged man: everything about him is shining except his eyes ...".

Santosh Dutta (1925-1985) is not among the very well-known authors of bangla literature. He wrote several novels and short stories. His profession was journalism and he was the editor of Anandabazar Patrika, a bangla daily newspaper published in Kolkata.

Also, in this podcast, is Poem 70 by Rabindranath Thakur, and a bangla modern song from the film "Antaheen", sung by Shreya Ghosal (music Shantanu Moitra).

Theme music: piano by Adnan Sami Khan

Interlude: Sarod by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, raag bhairavi.

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In today's episode, we present a short story by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhayay (Chatterjee), a poem from Geetanjali and a traditional folk song.

Sharat Chandra was a contemporary writer of Rabindranath Thakur. He wrote about the life of the rural bangla society in early 20th century. "Mahesh" (pronounced maw-hesh) is perhaps is best known story. The story is about a poor muslim man and the religous hyprocrisy permeating through the society. The story is included in UNESCO's list of representative literature. Translated and read by Raja Chakraborty.

Sharat Chandra Chattopadhayay Wiki

To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Thakur, Raja has read the Poem no. 9 from Geetanjali.

We are also going to introduce you to a bangla music through this podcast. We are presenting a "bhatiyali" song. This genre of songs were traditionally sung by boat-men sailing the wide. long rivers of Bengal. We don't know the name of the singer. The song was written by Bangladeshi poet Jasimuddin. This is a more modern rendition of the song, and there are several versions of this very popular song on the internet. We included this version of the song in the podcast because this version is our favorite!

Theme music by Adnan Sami Khan on piano (raag - bageshri). Sarengi by Ustad Sultan Khan (raag - bageshri).

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In today’s episode, we present three poems and a short story composed by Rabindranath Thakur.

Rabindranath Thakur was a novelist, poet, short story writer, music composer, essayist and also an educator. He won the Nobel prize in literature for a compilation of more than 100 poems called “Geetanjali”. The poems were originally written in bangla and translated into English by the poet himself. Geetanjali means “offerings of songs”. Rabindranath composed the music for all his songs. Rabindrasangeet (or music of Rabindranath) is perhaps the most popular genre in bangla music. First, we present three poems from Geetanjali. Maitreyee Chakraborty sings the first few lines of each of the three songs in bangla, and then reads the English translations. Flute performed by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

Perhaps, the greatest contribution of bangla language to the world of literature is its short stories. Rabindranath Thakur wrote more than 90 short stories. "Khudito Pashan" (The Hungry Stones) is probably his best, and is certainly one of the top 100 stories written in bangla language. The original story in bangla was first published in 1895. William Radice has brilliantly translated some short stories in the anthology titled “Rabindranath Tagore - Selected Short Stories”, published by Penguin Books. Here is Google Books page link for this marvelous book:

Google Book Link: Rabindranath Tagore - Selected Short Stories

The theme music was performed by Adnan Sami Khan on piano (raag-bageshri). Read by Raja Chakraborty. Music mixes: santoor by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, shanai by Ustad Bismillah Khan (raag malkauns), sitar by Pandit Nikhil Bannerjee (raag desh) and sarengi by Ustad Sultan Khan (raag bhairavi). 

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Thank you for visiting our website. In this inaugural podcast, we present three poems from Geetanjali (Song Offerings) by Rabindranath Thakur (1851 - 1941). These poems were written in Bangla (bengali) and translated into English by the poet. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for Geetanjali.

Rabindranath Thakur shaped the modern bangla language. He was a poet, novelist, short-story writer, lyricist, music composer, essayist and painter. He composed more than 2000 poems and composed music for many of these poems. He wrote eight novels, and more than one hundred short stories and essays. National anthems of both India and Bangladesh were penned by him.

For further reading, please visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindranath_Tagore

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1913/tagore-bio.html

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